Jewish World Review Sept. 10, 2003 / 13 Elul, 5763

David Grimes

JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Slackers need to remain invisible | You may not have heard about National Slacker Day in Britain earlier this month due to the fact that the event's organizers lacked the motivation to tell anyone.

Which is exactly what makes National Slacker Day such a great thing. If, through sheer sluggishness, you neglect to announce the event, you leave open the possibility of other, even more listless Slacker Days down the road.

Britain's Slacker Day motto is "Stand up for your right to sit back down again," which sounds a little ambitious if you ask me. True slackers should not be standing or sitting but lying down someplace cool and dark, dreaming things of no consequence.

I do not personally refer to myself as a slacker because Upper Management does not like us affiliating ourselves with groups unless it's a certain humongous charity that takes weekly dips out of our paychecks and which I won't name here other than to say it rhymes with "Delighted Gay."

Still, I'm free to endorse the slacker code, assuming anyone had enough energy to make one up, which I seriously doubt. If I were to define a slacker, I would say it is a person who sees ambitious, hard-working people all around him and tries to balance them out. Overachieving go-getters suck the energy out of a slacker until it is all he can do to remain vertical and not drool on his keyboard.

While I have always felt that a short six- to eight-hour nap on my desk was sufficient to counterbalance the frantic activity going on all around me, I am disturbed to read that a new militancy has insinuated itself into the slacker movement, if that is indeed the right word. On the Web site there is talk of setting up a "disciplinary framework" for people who insist on working during Slacker Day. In addition, there appears to be backing for a "Shop a Workaholic" campaign, which apparently is Brit-speak for holding overachievers up to shame and ridicule and not an invitation to take them out to Saks for a new briefcase or power tie.

Donate to JWR

This trend disturbs me and seems to fly, or at least shuffle, into the face of the slacker credo that suggests that Slacker Day should involve nothing more strenuous or stressful than snapping on a mid-afternoon cooking show, preferably from the crumb-sprinkled confines of your bed.

Also, I do not see how drawing undue attention to slackers can do the movement any good. As long as our co-workers see us as nothing more than a deodorant-challenged piece of office furniture, chances are good that they'll leave us alone. But once we start posting names and just generally trying to embarrass the people whose double shifts actually make it possible for us to goof off, our lives may quickly grow more complicated and unpleasant.

As long as we do not try to turn ambitious people into something they're not, perhaps they'll leave us alone to our naps, long weekends and three-hour lunches.

There is enough tension in today's workplace without slackers stirring things up.

Appreciate this column? Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor David Grimes is a columnist for The Sarasota Herald Tribune. Comment by clicking here.


09/02/03: No fun in the summertime
08/26/03: The algebra of love
08/11/03: Journey to the center of the pavement cracks
08/06/03: Word dominance by U.S. appears a fait accompli
07/28/03: Ads that are hard to swallow
07/09/03: Keep cows out of the classroom
07/03/03: Little-appreciated facts about unshaven men
06/24/03: Brother, can you paradigm?
06/18/03: Cats, TV not a good mix
06/10/03: In defense of grumpiness
06/04/03: Do we really need keyboards in our Port-A-Johns?
05/29/03: Always a dull men's moment
05/21/03: Bad PC hygiene leads to bugs
05/12/03:Army mops up; Tony Blair doesn't
05/06/03: Grill a hamburger for PETA
05/01/03: Exams spice history
04/23/03: Too much money? Tax me more!
04/14/03: When good gourds go bad
04/11/03: One fish-tale that isn't --- and that's no lie!
04/02/03: Do you really want to know what your dog's thinking?
03/26/03: Pajamas make high school less stressful
03/21/03: It's time to be nice to the French
03/03/03: The ultimate clean and constructive sport
02/12/03: Get a bang out of cleaning with cruise vacuum
02/06/03: Voluntary kindness? Not likely
01/28/03: Signs our economy is on upswing
01/22/03: There may be cash in your old underwear
01/15/03: Banish these words, now more than ever
01/07/03: Coughing as an art form
12/24/02: Parents shell out for missed homework
12/17/02: French government says no to @ symbol
12/11/02: A latecomer joins fellowship of the DVD
12/02/02: Don't worry, be fat, unfit and really happy
11/18/02: Intrigued by a German invention that could get teens out of bed before the crack of noon
11/06/02: A noose by any other name ...
10/29/02: Iranian dogs on notice
10/22/02: Talk about a job that stinks --- literally!
10/15/02: The official world's funniest joke
10/02/02: Japanese turn eyes to computer haikus
09/27/02: Oh, no! Bosses want to know what's on your mind
09/24/02: An airbag, humanity's salvation?
09/06/02: Come listen to a story about a man named ... Bill
09/03/02: You're not in preschool anymore!
08/30/02: A charming idea from a brutal, whacked-out, megalomaniacal dictator-for-life
08/26/02: Blubber water? How to put on the pounds by gulping H20
08/21/02: The latest evidence that Mother Nature is out to kill us
08/13/02: Computers, airplanes and Canada don't mix
08/06/02: The sky's not falling? Dang it!
08/02/02: Some fond memories of worst TV shows
07/30/02: Pay my credit-card bill, please?
07/25/02: Something to celebrate
07/22/02: Baseball needs to ban the fans
07/16/02: Hasbro should consider new inaction figure
07/11/02: Decline in trash-talking is harming our mental health? Well, #@%&!
07/08/02 Americans retain right to fork tongues
07/01/02 These laws were made to be broken
06/18/02 Watching enough commercials?
06/03/02 Throwing your vote to the dogs
05/08/02 Hey, Mom, could you spare a dime?: Parents' obligations unending

© 2002, Sarasota Herald Tribune